Holcim hails record-breaking year

Swiss building materials giant Holcim is celebrating record annual results and has achieved its Strategy 2025 target ahead of schedule.
Quarry Products / February 28, 2024
By Guy Woodford
Holcim CEO and chairman Jan Jenisch says Holcim is "stronger than ever" after a record trading year in 2023. Pic: Holcim

Full-year 2023 sales of CHF 27,009 million represented organic growth of 6.1% compared to 2022. The Group's recurring EBIT of CHF 4,760 million equated to organic growth of 14.7%. Operating profit for the year stood at CHF 4,577 million, up 42.1%.


Holcim has also released Q4 2023 trading performance numbers, showing sales of CHF 6,602 million (organic growth of 5.5%) and recurring EBIT of CHF 1,117 million (organic growth of 17.9%). 


Jan Jenisch, Holcim chairman and CEO, said: "With record results in 2023, Holcim is stronger than ever, achieving Strategy 2025 two years ahead of plan. Thanks to our empowered and accountable performance culture, our 63,448 colleagues worldwide went above and beyond to deliver advanced branded solutions for our customers. Our 'multi-billion Swiss franc brands' from ECOPact and Elevate to Fuerte represent 30% of our net sales. We accelerated our leadership in sustainability, reducing our CO2 per net sales by 20% compared to 2022 while making decarbonisation a driver of profitable growth and driving fast-paced growth in circular construction, with a 24% increase in recycled construction demolition materials in 2023.

Holcim logo
Holcim's full-year 2023 sales were worth CHF 27,009mn, organic growth of 6.1% on 2022 sales. Pic: Holcim


"Moving our business from volume to value, we have successfully shifted to the most attractive markets with strong growth drivers and margins. Through our disciplined M&A approach for superior value creation, Holcim delivered 97 value-accretive transactions since 2018, including six major acquisitions in Solutions & Products and 72 bolt-ons, of which 80% were family-owned companies, bringing significant synergy upside while closing 19 divestments.


"Thanks to our broad-based, profitable organic growth, we achieved a superior earnings profile, with industry-leading margins including a recurring EBIT margin of 17.6% and record free cash flow of CHF 3.7 billion. As we move forward in 2024, we are committed to another year of record results and value creation for all our stakeholders. I sincerely thank all our colleagues around the world for making Holcim the great company it is today."


In 2023, Holcim grew fast in the most attractive markets. North America accounted for 39% of Group net sales and Europe for 34%, up from 22% and 28%, respectively, in 2018. Solutions & Products expanded rapidly to account for 21% of Group net sales in 2023, up from 9% in 2018, putting the company on track to reach its strategic goal of 30% of net sales from the segment by 2025. Net sales to external customers in Solutions & Products reached CHF 5,608 million in 2023.


Solutions & Products grew further in 2023 through 11 acquisitions, including the iconic Duro-Last brand. Holcim continued to expand its aggregates and ready-mix concrete portfolio with 17 bolt-on acquisitions, delivering significant growth and synergies. In addition to these 28 acquisitions, Holcim signed agreements to sell its businesses in Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania to further sharpen its geographic footprint.

Holcim truck
An electric-powered Holcim ready-mix concrete truck. Pic: Holcim


On 28 January 2024, Holcim announced its intent to list its North American business in the US with a full capital market separation. It will be subject to shareholder approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting and other customary approvals. Holcim's US listing of North America is expected to remain included in the Swiss Market Index.


Holcim delivered superior performance quarter by quarter in 2023 and has achieved an industry-leading earnings profile despite challenging market conditions. Holcim is best positioned to capitalise on the growth opportunities ahead and expects continued profitable growth in 2024, with organic sales growth above 4% and additional growth from M&A above 2%. over-proportional growth in recurring EBIT, an increase in recurring EBIT margin to 18% and 20%, and growth in recycled construction demolition materials to 10 million tons progress towards US listing of North American business.

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